# [Don’t] Plagiarize

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Example 1: Plagiarize the original text by copying portions of it word-for-word.

No measure is perfect, but the estimates of value-added and other “growth models,” which attempt to isolate the “true effect” of an individual teacher through his or her students’ test scores, are alarmingly error-prone in any given year. Sean Corcoran, an economist at New York University, studied the teacher evaluation systems in New York City and Houston. He found that the average “margin of error” of a New York City teacher was plus or minus 28 points.

Example 2: Plagiarize the original text by paraphrasing its structure too closely, without copying it word-for-word.

Economist Sean Corcoran found that the average “margin of error” of a New York City teacher was plus or minus 28 points. Therefore, a teacher who has ranked at the 43rd percentile could also fall between the 15th percentile and the 71st percentile. The value-added scores are subject to change. A teacher who gets a particular ranking in year one is not forever associated with said ranking.

Example 3: Plagiarize the original text by paraphrasing its structure too closely, and include a citation. Even though you cited it, paraphrasing too closely is still plagiarism.

Economist Sean Corcoran found that the average “margin of error” of a New York City teacher was plus or minus 28 points. Therefore, a teacher who has ranked at the 43rd percentile could also fall between the 15th percentile and the 71st percentile. The value-added scores are subject to change. A teacher who gets a particular ranking in year one is not forever associated with said ranking (Ravitch 270).

Example 4: Properly paraphrase from the original text by restating the author’s ideas in different words and phrases, and include a citation to the original source.

NYU Economist Sean Corcoran set out to prove how difficult it can be to determine a teacher’s impact solely through the teacher evaluation systems implemented in Houston and New York City. He found that there is an extreme fluctuation amongst scores over the years, and compared the odds of accurately determining a teacher’s impact via these systems to those of a coin toss (Ravitch 271).

Example 5: Properly paraphrase from the original text by restating the author’s ideas in different words and phrases, add a direct quote, and include a citation to the original source.

Due to findings of instability throughout the Houston and New York City teacher evaluation systems, NYU Economist Sean Corcoran deems both systems not entirely accurate. Corcoran reports, “The value-added scores also fluctuate between years. A teacher who gets a particular ranking in year one is likely to get a different ranking the next year” (Ravitch 271). Maybe it is time for a change in how we assess the teachings of our educators.

Works Cited

Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System. New York:

Basic Books, 2011, pp. 270-71.